Chapter 296 - Can You Be The Embers? (1)

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“Martial arts are all strange things.”

Chung Myung mumbled as he watched the spar.

“Being close to death and training every day doesn’t necessarily make one strong. The training is painful; it is like climbing a wall one is not meant to climb.”

“… Chung Myung.”

“But if you put up with it and endure all of that, your time will come. The moment when the shell which surrounds you breaks down. If you cannot see that moment, you cannot see things clearly. And an unbloomed bud will never become a flower. Only when it blooms can the bud be called a flower.”

That was what flowering meant.

The birth of new life.

Chung Myung knew the kind of time Baek Cheon had spent on himself.

No matter how strong and stubborn he was, it was Baek Cheon who was struggling. It took more than patience to get through each day’s training, all the while being cursed and beaten by Chung Myung.

But Baek Cheon would endure all of this without a single word.

The person who was considered the hope for Mount Hua threw away his pride and didn’t hesitate to even crawl on the floor to get stronger.

Chung Myung believed in Baek Cheon’s will.

‘Show me.’

How far has Mount Hua come?

What kind of flowers will start to bloom after a century?

Chung Myung’s gaze followed Baek Cheon’s every move.

It was weird; it appeared as if Baek Cheon’s mind was fully taken by it.

His body moved with supreme speed, even as his entire body began to heat up. All the while, his mind was calm.

‘Tranquillity of Stillness.’

He had heard that too many times, and it had been engraved countless times into his mind. Even so, it seemed like he understood something he had failed to understand before.

It wasn’t weird.

He thought he knew most things.

He couldn’t feel the pain, and the sword moved as his heart wanted it to move.

Seeing things?

No.

He was feeling things.

Swish!

Jin Geum-Ryong’s sword barely missed his forehead.

Shhh.

The ends of his hair were cut off and scattered by the wind. However, Baek Cheon didn’t blink an eye and clearly saw all of this.

He was able to really know.

The distance between him and Jin Geum-Ryong. The gap between the sword tip and his body.

The instant he saw the path of Jin Geum-Ryong, and saw where his brother was aiming, it felt like everything fell under the control of Baek Cheon.

-Knowing me isn’t everything.

‘He was right.’

-The sword is what you fight with. You don’t need enemies to perfect yourself. However, no one in history has ever perfected themself by being stuck on a mountain and wielding their sword alone.

‘That is also true.’

-The body concentrates on the sword, but the eyes need to look at an opponent. The sword is nothing more than an item being swung in the air when the enemy or I don’t exist. If you really want to understand the sword, understand the enemy.

‘Jin Geum-Ryong?’

-Can do nothing then. See for yourself.

Everything about Jin Geum-Ryong.

Ironically, Baek Cheon understood the opponent more clearly than ever at this moment.

Before, he hadn’t been able to see it clearly.

Even though, in the past, he wanted to jump over and hit him… Baek Cheon had never really tried. He believed that if he polished himself, he would eventually surpass that man one day.

Such a funny thing.

How did he plan to win when he couldn’t even understand his opponent at all?

He understood it.

Accepted it.

All of them dwelled on the sword.

The moment Jin Geum-Ryong’s shoulder moved, Baek Cheon came to know where he would aim.

Before his sword could even extend, Baek Cheon took a step ahead and slammed Jin Geum-Ryong in the chest with his hand.

Being pushed back, he looked flustered by this.

Jin Geum-Ryong, who corrected his form, looked at Baek Cheon.

“… what is this?”

Obviously, something had changed here.

His movement was now quick, and the staggering flow, too, had disappeared.

‘How can all this change in an instant?’

Jin Geum-Ryong clenched his teeth.

‘It cannot be like this.’

Doesn’t it feel like he was being pushed back now? And by Baek Cheon?

“This cannot happen!”

Jin Geum-Ryong rushed to Baek Cheon with ferocious force. From the tip of his sword, pure white light shone.

Baek Cheon took a deep breath and looked at the pure white petals which were flying for him.

‘Right.’

This was a level of sophistication that was different from the sword of Jong Seo-Han. Each petal moved like it had life.

But looking at this sword, he understood what Chung Myung meant.

-Don’t chase after glamor! If you are enchanted with making your sword look splendid, you will only get swayed by it.

‘It is too gorgeous.’

Sophisticated.

Shiny.

What did this mean?

Sophistication and splendor are just means to unleash a sword technique. A sword that has its basics forgotten is just empty.

Then.

What is in my sword?

Baek Cheon began to move his sword. Gracefully and gently.

The tip of the sword moved like it had freedom and wrapped a soft breeze around Baek Cheon.

‘My sword doesn’t have to be the strongest one in Mount Hua.’

Not the fastest, flashiest, or most elegant either. None of that mattered.

What his sword chased was the spirit of Mount Hua.

If the sword of Chung Myung led Mount Hua, his sword would be an example for the disciples of Mount Hua.

An unbiased sword.

That would be the sword of Baek Cheon.

Plum blossoms bloomed from the tip of Baek Cheon’s sword. These blossoms bloomed quietly in the gentle breeze.

‘Plum Blossoms blooming on Lotus Peak.’

Mount Hua turning red. Not flashy or dazzling enough. Nor was it sophisticated enough like Jin Geum-Ryong’s technique.

Nevertheless, the plum blossoms made people look at Baek Cheon.

“That….!”

The sect leader of Wudang jumped up.

‘How can a child of that age!’

He seemed shocked.

“Amitabha.”

Even the Abbot also voiced his shock, unable to hide his surprise.

However, the person who showed the greatest reaction of them was Jong Rigok, the sect leader of the Southern Edge Sect.

He clenched his fist and trembled. His lips were also trembling now.

‘It cannot be! This cannot…!’

The Twelve Movement Snow Flower Sword developed from the essence of the Plum Blossom Sword technique. The Southern Edge Sect came from the essence of the Plum Blossom Sword technique. They refined it, making it better than Mount Hua’s technique.

Then why couldn’t he take his eyes off Baek Cheon now?

‘This cannot happen! Damn it!’

Blooming.

Scattering

The spring plum blossoms.

As if to announce the end of their winter, the plum flowers spread across with the warm breeze.

The flower which covered the world.

A cry announcing that the technique which they thought had vanished from the world was back in the Mount Hua sect.

“Ah….”

Hyun Jong groaned,

“Ahh…”

His eyes were watering up.

‘Are you watching this, my ancestors?’

What he lost.

What Mount Hua lost.

But the spirit of Mount Hua was never lost.

It would now reappear in the world.

Baek Cheon was a person who had talent, which any sect would welcome, but he never wanted to leave the collapsing Mount Hua.

Every time he saw Baek Cheon, Hyun Jong only felt supreme gratitude, affection, and a little pain too.

He was now seeing something which Hyun Jong thought he would never see in his life.

‘Baek Cheon.’

I want to get up and cry.

That was the Sword of Mount Hua!

This was the sword you people forgot about!

Hyun Jong looked at the plum blossoms with wet eyes.

‘Put our will in the world.’

Like floating on a cloud.

After all, the sword seemingly moved on the fingertips. If so, wasn’t the will already contained within it?

‘It isn’t about putting our will into the sword.’

It was supposed to be our hearts that held our will. If one could hold onto this unshakable center, the sword would naturally follow the heart, which had the will.

Take a step.

The world, which seemed far from him, was approaching closer.

Beyond the sword he wanted to use, he stepped into a place he had never seen before.

It was weird.

As he spread his sword, he felt warm. It was as if the sword was his body.

‘This is what it means to be a Sword of Mount Hua.’

The more the sword technique was done, the more it could be felt.

What were their ancestors trying to do with their swords? What they were trying to convey.

It all led to this sword.

The will of the creator of the Plum Blossom Sword Technique. And the will of those who developed the other techniques of Mount Hua.

Everything they wanted to pass on to the next generations was within this sword.

And it moved.

Adding the will of those who walked before.

Right. This was the Sword of Mount Hua. Something grew within Baek Cheon.

The roots dug further into the land, and the stem began to rise up firmly. The branch had finally spread out into the world and would soon spread more.

Blooming.

The plum blossoms that bloomed from the tip of the branch, called a sword, embraced something different from all others and began to cover Jin Geum-Ryong.

The pure white flowers of Jin Geum-Ryong and the red flowers from plum blossoms began to intertwine.

Jin Geum-Ryong was wide eyed.

Baek Cheon’s plum blossoms were gently pushing the flowers around.

Not too strong, but firm!

‘How!’

Jin Geum-Ryong saw this, and the sights of a past situation moved in front of him. A sight engraved into his mind that he would never forget. That was when the plum blossoms of Chung Myung had taken him down.

‘Why?’

Why was this happening again?

He trained.

He broke his body. He practiced and trained. To defeat Chung Myung. But leave Chung Myung alone. He was being blocked by Baek Cheon’s sword, a man he didn’t care about!

“What the hell is this!”

Something huge inside Jin Geum-Ryong began to crumble.

Akkkkkk!

He let out a maddened scream, and with blood in his eyes, he swung his sword. Snow flowers bloomed again.

A cold and terrifying qi rose up. With a frenzied force coming up, it felt like it wanted to tear down everything.

And, like foam being taken down by a typhoon, it hit the plum blossoms of Baek Cheon.

But.

No matter how strong it moved, typhoons cannot push down boulders.

The plum blossom of Baek Cheon were firmly rooted and only moved toward his opponent.

The sharpness and splendor of the snow flowers were being pushed away.

Jin Geum-Ryong realizing that his sword couldn’t destroy Baek Cheon’s plum blossoms, looked at the plum blossoms in front of him with trembling eyes,

“I…”

The plum blossoms gently pushed away the wind of snow flowers, soared up like in a fantasy, and then moved like the flowers in the spring breeze.

Wheik!

The plum blossoms swept by the warm wind glided across Jin Geum-Ryong’s body.

And scattered again.

And…

The plum blossom that seemed to fill the place disappeared like an illusion.

“…”

The hall was filled with silence.

No one said a thing. Everyone looked at the stage with wide eyes.

And on the stage, two were standing looking at each other.

Haa… Haa…

Baek Cheon held his red-stained wrist and exhaled roughly.

“….”

Jin Geum-Ryong looked at him without a word.

The silent confrontation between the two continued.

“You…”

Jin Geum-Ryong spoke first.

But as he went to speak, he went silent and looked at Baek Cheon for a while as he asked,

“… what was that?”

Baek Cheon, who was starting to turn pale, said,

“Twenty-Four Movement Plum Blossom Sword technique.”

Small but firm.

“Plum Blossoms in Full Bloom”

Jin Geum-Ryong smiled at those words and looked at Baek Cheon, who looked like he would collapse with a single step.

“Plum Blossoms in Full Bloom… ah.”

Admiration?

If not?

“What a name.”

Jin Geum-Ryong collapsed.

Thud!

Looking down at his fallen brother, Baek Cheon quietly closed his eyes.

‘Hyung.’

There was only one thing that made the difference between victory and defeat.

Did he win?

Baek Cheon didn’t defeat the man. But it was the Sword of Mount Hua which defeated the Southern Edge Sect.

‘Now…’

He smiled.

‘For now, this is good enough.’

The sun shone on him as he turned around.

As if to bless him for showing off his true Mount Hua Sword.

“The Winner is Baek Cheon of Mount Hua!!”

Amid the cheers, Baek Cheon moved slowly to the disciples of Mount Hua, running towards him with tears and cheers.

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